Political Concepts

Views on the News – 9 July 2009

American Church posts derogatory sign against Islam

The sign reads “Islam is of the Devil” and was placed Sunday in the church’s front lawn reports The Independent Florida Alligator. It was vandalized and torn down that evening but was re-erected on Monday, said Terry Jones, the pastor at the church. Jones said that the church, located at 5805 NW 37th St., does not plan on taking down the sign, and that more messages will be displayed in the future. “We think we are losing our heritage as a Christian nation,” Jones said as one of the reasons the church put up the sign. Jones said Islam’s growing popularity in the United States needs to be addressed because Christians are not standing up for what they believe in. “To be a Christian, you would have to agree with that sign,” Jones said. He said the sign is not meant to attack individuals but to attack the religion of Islam because it is oppressive and violent.

Britain’s far rights group to plot a spectacular attack against Muslims?

Neo-Nazis are plotting a ‘spectacular’ terrorist attack on Britain to fuel racial tension, Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism officers fear. Senior officers have increased their surveillance of suspects to monitor their ability to carry out a deadly attack aimed at causing a ‘breakdown in community cohesion’. The chilling warning comes after last month’s startling gains by the BNP in the local and European elections which many fear may ’embolden’ violent Far-Right extremists. Commander Shaun Sawyer, from the Met’s specialist operations wing told a meeting of British Muslims last night: ‘I fear that they will have a spectacular … ‘ They will carry out an attack that will lead to a loss of life or injury to a community somewhere. They’re not choosy about which community.’ His comments came after Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson asked officers to examine what effect the recession could have on far-right violence. Till now far right organizations have been allowed to freely operate, publish literature and contest elections in Britain. However, the same privileges are in many cases denied to those Muslims who wish to practice Islam.

The racist killing of a Muslim women draws a muted response from the German government

Thousands of Egyptian mourners marched behind the coffin of the “martyr of the head scarf” – a pregnant Muslim woman who was stabbed to death in a Dresden courtroom on Wednesday in front of her young son. Many in her homeland were outraged by the attack and saw the low-key response in Germany as an example of racism and anti-Muslim sentiment. The woman’s husband was critically wounded in the attack, after he tried to intervene and was stabbed by the attacker and accidentally shot by court security. “There is no God but God and the Germans are the enemies of God,” chanted mourners for 32-year-old Marwa el-Sherbini in Alexandria, where her body was buried. “We will avenge her killing,” her brother Tarek el-Sherbini told the Associated Press by telephone from the mosque where prayers were being recited in front of his sister’s coffin. “In the west, they don’t recognise us. There is racism.” Indeed the German government is not even sure that it was a racist attack. A German government spokesman, Thomas Steg, said that if the attack was racist, the government “naturally condemns this in the strongest terms”.

France begins legal process to ban the veil

French lawmakers opened hearings Wednesday on whether to ban the burka, calling in experts who said France should act to discourage Muslim women from wearing the head-to-toe veil. President Nicolas Sarkozy has already proclaimed the burka “not welcome” in secular France. Home to Europe’s biggest Muslim minority, France has set up a special panel of 32 lawmakers to consider whether a law should be enacted to bar Muslim women from wearing the full veil, known as a burka or niqab. At the first hearing, two academics described wearing the burka as a throwback to a form of archaic Islam and a type of cult-like behaviour, incompatible with modern France. Islam expert Abdennour Bidar called the full veil a “pathology of Islam” embraced by hardline Salafists who tell Muslim women to cover themselves as a way to “get back to their roots. It’s up to the republic to help Islam in our country choose its destiny and help French Muslims resist this pressure,” said Bidar. “We must find ways to prevent the burka from spreading. Whether that would be a law or something else is not for me to say.”

China continues to suppress its Muslim population

China’s leaders vowed on Thursday to severely punish those responsible for bloodshed in the nation’s far northwest that left at least 156 people dead and exposed deep ethnic tensions. The warning came as riot police and soldiers maintained a firm grip on Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang region, where Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese faced off this week in China’s worst ethnic conflict for decades. “The planners of the incident, the organisers, key members and the serious violent criminals must be severely punished,” President Hu Jintao and the other eight members of the ruling Communist Party’s elite Politburo said. Hu was forced to abandon a visit to Italy for the Group of Eight summit and return to China to deal with the situation, in what observers said was an unprecedented move that illustrated the severity of the crisis. Xinjiang’s eight million Uighurs have long complained about discrimination and repression under Chinese rule, and exiled leaders said those pent-up feelings of persecution led to Sunday’s protests.